In this episode, a singer is using Keramon to artificially inflate the pop charts. A simple mission if Yoshi and the other DATS girls didn't catch Bieber fever.
Could it be? A Digimon episode with a plot involving an actual romantic relationship? At first glance, it's evidence of this season's alleged maturity. Yoshi's older age is being utilized in a capacity other than her driver's license when she begins to develop sincere feelings for the perpetrator of the week. Will she be forced to choose between her mission and her man? It all sounds very promising, but it's derailed by two problems. One is that it's still another one-off episode with no long-term impact. The other is that, incredibly, Yoshi's infiltration and subsequent relationship with Neon has absolutely no bearing on the mission. She neither helps nor hurts anything, as Thomas and Marcus do all the real work.
That makes it awfully hard to call this a Yoshi episode, even though it was clearly designed to put the spotlight on her. As discussed before, Yoshi is in a very strange position where she's a primary character, yet she treats all this like a normal job. She's not particularly good or bad at it, and you get the sense that she'd bolt the moment she got a better offer (as opposed to Thomas, who must have some sort of attachment to still be dealing with these clowns). This makes it hard to get a feel for what's going through her head, with no real explanation or resolution.
As one of Neon's old classmates, Yoshi is ordered to get closer to him to gather information on his suspected ties to Keramon. Never mind that Keramon is so overt in hacking the network to spread Neon propaganda that putting her in such an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation is quite unnecessary. She is shown to clearly enjoy the time with Neon, yet very earnestly spies on him at the same time. At the end, she confronts him about his fraud, yet she's unhappy about having to erase his memories and promises to remember for the both of them. If she's conflicted, it's a rather simple kind of conflicted where she'll do her job while pining over her (work-mandated) time with an old friend (who's a sleazeball). If not, then what was the point of all that?
The trouble with her situation is that it's made out to be interesting and complicated when she's not doing anything unusual or scandalous. She's annoyed by the paparazzi and puts up with abuse from her nosy coworkers. She's dedicated enough to her work to not brush it off to spend time with Neon. She has memories and shared experiences with him that enhance their relationship. While she's busy snooping around his place, she stops Marcus from barging in, exposing her connection to DATS and ruining the entire operation. She kisses him on the cheek. Apparently that all amounts to an emotional attachment that gets her kicked off the case.
Since he and Marcus have already disobeyed Sampson's direct orders once, Thomas anticipates that it's Yoshi's turn and sneaks surveillance equipment on her person. Then he and Marcus barge in and stop Keramon while Neon spills everything we already knew to Yoshi. Yoshi is sad that an old friend went bad, does her job and stands on the balcony wondering what she's doing with her life. It doesn't change anything.
Elsewhere, there are bits of interesting information that don't have to do with Yoshi. Thomas and Marcus are starting to figure things out and are mostly in lockstep in this episode. Even without knowing her intentions, Marcus seems to be the only one unfazed by Yoshi dating a pop star, taking a refreshing non-interest in her private life. The paparazzi are apparently even worse than we all thought, to the point where breaking and entering is a respectable tactic. And, most importantly, people are actually morons enough to willingly download and enjoy pop music after somebody hacks an advertisement for it on every TV and cell phone in the city.
My Grade: C
- Yoshi has a whole new wardrobe used when seeing Neon, which distances herself from DATS (in theory) but does nothing to evade the paparazzi nor prevent them from identifying her. The secret is to wear one thing with Neon and another thing when out in public.
- If DATS is some secret organization, how does everybody know where Yoshi works?
- Neon, whether through some prior covert operations or legitimate talent, is already tremendously popular. Why would he stoop to such a bold and obviously hacker-y level to expand his reach just a little bit more?
- Yoshi erases Neon's memory, which would make it impossible to prosecute him for fraud. This guy should really be going to jail, yet the effort to keep Digimon a secret means he'll walk.